MADRID — Roger Federer will play for his third Madrid Open title with a chance to take over the No. 2 spot in the world ranking after cruising past Janko Tipsarevic 6-2, 6-3 in the tournament semifinals on Saturday.
The Swiss star and former No. 1 advanced to a finals matchup against Tomas Berdych, who edged Juan Martin del Potro 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) in the other semifinal.
A victory will push Federer ahead of Spain’s Rafael Nadal in the rankings.
“It’s going to be a tough match,” said Federer. “Berdych is playing well himself. It’s quick conditions and he can be a big threat in the finals like that.”
On the women’s side, Serena Williams will meet top-ranked Victoria Azarenka in the final after each won their semifinal matchups in straight sets.
While both Rafael Nadal and top-ranked Novak Djokovic vowed to never again play on Madrid’s new blue-clay court after early exits, Federer’s more technical style has not been overly hampered by a surface many players have criticized as slippery.
Federer, who won at Madrid in 2006 and 2009, shook off gusting winds in the late afternoon to hit 25 winners and eight aces en route to the easy victory.
Today will be the 30-year-old Federer’s 104th final, where he will seek his 74th career title.
Williams beat Lucie Hradecka 7-6 (5), 6-0, while Azarenka had little trouble beating fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska for the sixth consecutive time. Azarenka defeated the Polish standout 6-2, 6-4 on Saturday.
The ninth-seeded Williams will play for her second title of the season. Azarenka has won four tournaments so far.